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Poetry Friday round-up is here! Scroll to the end of this post to find the InLinz linky.

Wednesday was our annual Gifted by Nature field trip to City Park. All the elementary gifted kids in the parish (district) gather for a day of games and art and nature. I’m usually the one to lead a poetry writing activity. This year we designed our learning fun day around the concept of pi, so of course, we wrote Pi-ku!

Pi-ku follows the syllable count of pi, 3.14. Some students challenged themselves to more digits, 3.14159…

Girls writing nature pi-ku.

A beautiful spring day on the shore of Bayou Teche with lily pads and duck families, draping oaks and cypress trees became the perfect setting for inspiring pi-ku.

Lilypads

Lilypads
are
in the water.
They’re
absorbing sunlight
providing habitat for wildlife
such as
Louisiana bullfrogs
and other creatures.
The shadow
drops the temperature
providing a cool habitat
Nature has many examples–Pi!

Josie
Photo by Richard Fletcher from Pexels

Beautiful
blooms
rest peacefully
watch
as the calm wind blows.
The flowers dance to the soft music.
They stop
moving from side to side
surrounded by leaves
friends of vines
saying Hello to
multi-colored dragon flies and bees.

Jayden

Outside I
see
a tree with a
hole.
Could I make it a
home? A place warm, quiet, safe and dark.
–Izabella

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

In May the flowers appear and the end of the school year rushes up like the ground when a plane is landing. The fears and doubts niggle at you. Have I done enough? Have I reached who I needed to reach? The beauty and curse of it is that you have, and you will also never know. The moments that mattered most to others are rarely the ones we remember. The encouragement and guidance teachers give moment to moment is as unconscious as breathing. And students will go on just living their lives, holding on to a moment or two of encouragement from you that you’ve missed in the midst.

Brenda Power, Choice Literacy, May 10, 2019

I walk past the countdown every day.  10 more days of school.  One of my students asked me last week if I would put a countdown on the board, and I told her, “I don’t like countdowns. It’s just a reminder that I am going to miss you.”

There are so many things to do in May.  Paperwork, cleaning, packing… I’m not into it.

Don’t get me wrong, once summer is here, I’ll be enjoying sleeping in, reading a good book, visiting my parents in Mississippi, and walks with Charlie.  This summer I have the added benefit of time with my new grandson.  All that is good, but I wish we didn’t have to go through May to get there.

In May, I question if I’ve done enough.

In May, I wonder who will watch out for my students’ reading and writing growth over the summer.

In May, I feel a sense of losing my grip.  Slip-sliding to the end.

My friend Christina Nosek of Literacy Learning is doing a blog series on the last 20 days, about how she is making learning happen each and every day.  I admire this.  I envy her self-contained classroom.  With my itinerant status, I am never quite sure who will show up for class in the last weeks of school.  There are a multitude of field trips and special days, and I’m often left out of the loop.

What I do know is that whoever shows up will read and write their way to the last day, with a few learning games thrown in. We will celebrate the reading we’ve done, write final blog posts, and plan for our summer reading.  We will say goodbye, but many of my students I will teach again next year (the plus side of pull-out gifted).

May is here.  I must face it.  Head up.  No crying. Hugs all around.

May Day Flowers

Poetry Friday round-up is with Elizabeth Steinglass.

 

Ladybug larva on milkweed feasting on aphids.

We went out to the garden yesterday for the last 20 minutes of class, and Jennie was there.  I sat down next to her, and we talked about all the aphids on the milkweed.  “But you see here,” she explained, “this is a ladybug larva.” Jennie taught me about the life cycle of the ladybug.  The larva go through 5 exoskeletons and eat thousands of aphids.  She called them meat eaters.

I called the kids over (they were picking buttercups) to hear her impromptu instruction.  We will come back next week to see the progress of the ladybugs, and if there are any new monarch caterpillars.

She thanked us for spending time in the garden and gave us seeds to plant, sunflowers and beans.  She explained that these are sister plants.  The sunflower has a strong stalk for the bean vine to climb.  I enjoy time in the garden as much as or maybe more than my students do.

Here’s a may-ku about ladybugs:

Ladybug larva

feast on garden aphids

before blooming red.

–Margaret Simon, 2019

adult ladybug

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

 

What a wonderful month full of poetry love!  Looking back over the month, I wrote 28 posts. The thing is to write one poem worthy of publishing on this blog, I had to write more than one poem a day.  Some will stay buried in my notebook.

Thanks to Mary Lee Hahn for inviting me to play along with her this month.  I’ve enjoyed sharing this playtime with Christie, Molly, Jone, and Elisabeth.

One of the perks of my teaching job is I get to write poetry every day with my students, too.  They’ve been working on a poetry project that included writing at least 5 poems and reading a poetry book.  We were immersed in poetry, between testing sessions, that is. You can read their poems at our kidblog site. 

Last night I participated in the #NYED Twitter Chat.  If you have a chance, check out the hashtag.  I made a Padlet of resources to use throughout the year.  It’s public and open for comments and additions.

The Progressive Poem is complete! I am so amazed at the talents of Donna Smith who pulled out a “found” ending and actually put the song to music.  Check it out! 

Another exciting part of this month was being a featured poet-teacher on Today’s Little Ditty.  Being among these poets was an honor: Classroom Connections. 

When you walk in poetry every day, everything becomes a poem.  This morning on my walk I dictated this poem.  The air was sweet with the scent of jasmine, gardenia, and magnolia.  The scents of the southern landscape energize and inspire me.  What do you see, hear, smell while walking?  Make each step into a poem.

Breathe the jasmine air.
Rest in Love,
the love that created you
as perfect as
a star blossom
on the vine of the world.
-Margaret Simon, draft 2019

 

Today I’m tired.  I spent yesterday outdoors in wonderful warm spring air at the Festival International de Louisiane.  Today I am tired all over my body.  We walked, we drank, we ate festival food, and danced.  Too much.  Today I wasn’t going to write, but my friend in this daily poetry game, Christie Wyman, wrote using online magnetic poetry, nature version, because she didn’t want to get off the sofa.  Like Christie, I am writing by moving pieces around on my computer.  Is this really writing?  Thus the title for today’s blog, Lazy Poet.

 

Being an itinerant teacher, I drive from parking lot to parking lot.  During March Slice of Life Challenge, I wrote about the shoe in the parking lot that seemed to be haunting me.  This week, I noticed a tiny wild flower blossoming amidst the stones.  So here’s a little quiet moment to breathe.

The more I play with the poetry tools, the less I trust them.  I want to manipulate the words into something, anything that rings true.  Yesterday I combined magnetic word pieces with metaphor dice.  Both of these poems interested me, but I don’t think either is a great poem.  Let’s just live in the moment for a moment.

 

White misty rose
unspoken kiss
of light wine

True summer echoes
as delicate time lost
my bare feet say-shine

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.

One of my favorite books in my rather large collection of poetry books is What the Heart Knows by Joyce Sidman. This week I shared the poem Happiness, a chant invoking happiness.  We talked about writing from the perspective of direct address to an emotion.  I directed my students to choose an emotion and to try using imagery to make the emotion personified.  I played along with my kiddos and took out the magnetic poetry cookie sheets.  Finding the word poems mused me to write a direct address to poems.  Karson and I both used the imagery of a monarch butterfly drawing on our experience of hatching and releasing monarchs this week.

Poems,

You hide in shadows
of oak trees.
You whisper words
in the breeze.
You shudder my heart.

Poems,
When we meet eye to eye,
I am amazed
by your strength,
unexpected yet welcome.

Poems,
Your delicate wings
unfold before our eyes
surprising us
with your ease of flight.

–Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

 

Free image from Pixabay.

 

Excitement,

too much thrill can bring confusion
and confusion leads to mystery.
You are like the breeze on the top of a mountain.
When I see the brightness of the moon, I feel you.
You are the feeling when a monarch flies into the distance.

Karson, 4th grade

 

Curiosity,

You are full of forest mazes
that my mind gets stuck in.
My eyes show the way.
You bring me thoughts,
you make me think,
Curiosity

Jaden, 3rd grade